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Chuck Hagel 10, Chicago 7, Us 5, Russia 5, Alex 4, Mulligan 3, Oscar Pistorius 3, Vatican 3, England 2, Nbc 2, Israel 2, London 2, Olympics 2, Eucerin 2, Rome 2, California 2, Florida 2, Badger 2, Warren Buffett 2, Harry Reid 2,
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  MSNBC    Weekends With Alex Witt    News  News/Business. New.  

    February 16, 2013
    4:00 - 5:00am PST  

behind senator haggle that has not yet disclosed formally is something called friends of hamas, if that is, in fact, true, senator, would that lead you to vote against mr. haggel? >> i saw that information too. that is more and more concerning. >> you can't take money from a terrorist-supporting organization and come before the united states senate and ask for a vote, can you? >> i'm very troubled by it. >> i'm very troubled by it, it being chuck hagel's imaginary connection to an imaginary organization that only exists on the bright bart server and in rand paul's mind. that's who gets to vote. very troubled about this terrorist organization he heard about in a chat room somewhere. don't feel bad, russia every country has got them. we just give them more power than most countries do. republicans ha s have block
nomination yesterday. that has never happened in this country yesterday. we have been hit by meteors, but this we have never done. now the senate is in recess. the second confirmation will probably happen in a week and a half, unless, of course we have to hold rand paul's emergency hearings on the president's birth certificate or something that they find more compelling than having a defense secretary when we have 66,000 americans in a hot war. we'll see you monday night at 9:00 for premiere of the brand new documentary "hubris: the selling of the iraq war" "weekends with alex witt" starts now. the president gets personal. president obama talks publicly about something he rarely
mentions. getting personal on capitol hill, the fight over chuck hagel. we'll explain. what happened? theories on the meteorite that exploded over russia, and another incident you may not have heard about. a new twist today in the cruise ship nightmare. welcome to "weekends with alex wit." what's happening out there. new word from president obama, taking on the gop on the right. and the president arrived in florida last night for the weekend, but not before his weekend address. time to finish the job by cutting the deficit $4 billion. >> you can make bigger cuts to education and job training and social security benefits. senior citizens and working families to bear the burden of deficit reduction, while the wealthiest are asked to do nothing more.
>> that won't work, we can't cut our way to prosperity. >> republicans aren't holding back, criticizing the president over the upcoming threat of sequestration, if nothing is done to avoid it, massive funding cuts to the federal government will be triggered march 1st. >> in his state of the union address, these cuts were a really bad idea. what the president failed to mention was that the sequester was his idea proposed by his administration, and the debt limit negotiations in 2011. and now we in the house on behalf of our constituents are calling on the president to join us in replacing the sequester with better, more responsible spending cuts. >> meanwhile, a glimpse of the president's personal side in a rare moment, he discussed his own childhood while talking about family values in his adoptive hometown of chicago. >> we have single moms out here,
heroic of what they are doing. we are so proud of them. but at the same time, i wish i had a father who was around and involved. >> joining me now, nbc news correspondent kristen welker, good saturday morning to you, kristen. that was very revealing. does the president see this as a particularly personal cause? i think he does see this as a personal problem this is part of his broader strategy. the president using more emotional appeal as he has argued for stiffer gun control laws. that's an uphill battle, not just with congressional republicans, but a number of democrats. the president showing this other side of himself as he makes this case, not only for stiffer gun control laws, but really investing in inner cities like chicago. as you pointed out, chicago is
his adoptive hometown. the city where the first lady grew up, they raised the first daughter there for a number of years before they were actually the first daughters and of course, the city gave birth to president obama's political career this is personal for him. chicago, one of the cities at the epicenter of the gun violence debate because of the high rate of violence, and it witnessed the murder of hadiya penned heelton, chit teen who performed at president obama's inauguration and then gunned down in a random act of violence. take a listen. >> there was something profound and uniquely hal are heart braking about a group of 6-year-olds killed. but last year there were 443 murders with a firearm on the streets of this city.
and 65 of those victims were 18 and under some of that's t that equivalent of a newtown every four months. >> reporter: alex, also unique about president obama's comments yesterday, he talked about the root of gun violence and said it was due to economic inequalities, broken homes and again, called for investing in these community as a way to try to prevent this violence. his fry speech came on the heels of a series of speeches he delivered this past week to sell the core message of the state of the union address. we timed it out, and friday's speech was the longest of all of them. >> kristen, thank you very much for the live report. we'll see you again. the president's call to raise minimum wage. will that happen? we'll talk about that coming up at the bottom of the hour. in russia, cleanup crews hard at work after the meteor strike yesterday. we are live with the very latest from london and good day to you,
annabelle. new numbers on how big this was and the kind of damage it did. pretty outstanding. >> reporter: that's right, alex. good morning. a big cleanup going on in chelybinsk. the shock wave blew out windows in more than 4,000 buildings. this is a really cold area. local officials promised they will get all the windows fixed within a week. that's a long time to wait when your midday temperature there is about 10 fahrenheit. so lots of people out there today, busy blocking up the windows and the glazers will be extremely busy the next few days. 1,200 people injured, 200 children. 15 remain in the hospital, 1 in a coma. most injuries caused by flying, breaking glass as you can see in the pictures. what happened, the meteor flew across the sky, everybody saw the strange light, ran to the
windows and, boom, all the windows -- the huge blast and the glass shattered in those winos across this area. there were also reports that a chunk had fallen into a lake, a chunk of the meteor. divers are busy looking for the large chunk under this ice-crusted lake. so far, nothing found. we understand the meteor traveling at 19 miles a second and it was 50 feet in diameter, it broke apart about 20 miles above the earth. but there is some discrepancy between what russian scientists are estimating for the size and what american scientists are saying regarding the size. but no question, alex. this was a very, very big, cosmic event in russia. >> well, you know, annabelle, looking at the pictures, just remarkable and you absolutely describe how people -- of course would you go to your window to try to see what's going on. who knew glass would shatter like that.
the asteroid misses us by 17,000 miles yesterday. folks in san francisco, california, are saying they saw something streaking. it just -- so peculiar. are scientists talking about anything unusual happening? >> they say this is just a huge and extraordinary coincidence. we get a hit the size of the one that took place in russia yesterday about once in 100 years. the fact that there was another asteroid spotted that missed earth on the same day is just a huge coincidence. we've got nothing to be worried about, alex. >> okay. we're going to take your word for it annabelle roberts from london. thank you so much. back in the u.s., time for your weekend forecast. and we have nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer with that. >> good morning, alex. colder air working into the northeast and it comes with snow. we're seeing snow across the dakotas right now that will dip into nebraska and eventually
into kansas later on today, cold air surging in from the north and creating lake-effect snow on the great lakes. you can see the cold front stretching from new england to parse of flori parts of florida. where we're seeing most of our rainfall right now. the cold blast will surge in here. below-average temperatures as we head into today and sunday. that's when we see the coldest of the temperatures. but you can see where we're even dealing with snow across portions of north carolina into virginia, and it's in that area where we have a winter storm advisory. it looks like we'll see 1 to 3 inches of snow in that area. moving north, winter weather advisories, warnings and blizzard warnings across portions of eastern maine. there is the chance we could in northern new england see another foot of snow. and, again, that would be in the northern extremes of maine, but we're also looking at the potential for three to six inches across the eastern coast of massachusetts to rhode island. dealing with light snow today
and tomorrow in new england, elsewhere, also about the cold for today. highs in minneapolis, 18 degrees, so below-average temperatures working back across the country. alex. >> dylan, thank you for that. one day passengers aboard an ill-fated carnival cruise line, one of them is filing a lawsuit. a woman from texas is suing carnival for negligence, fraud, and breach of contract which she claims led to the deplorable conditions on the ship. reaction from some passengers thursday when they got back to dry land. >> we didn't have water, we didn't have showers for a while. we didn't have hot meals. >> it was literally liking being in a floating port-a-potty. human waste everywhere. >> the crew, unbelievable. those guys had worse conditions than we did, and they were serving us. >> let's go to mark potter, in mobile, alabama. what a story, mark. it's wrapped up on one level, except now there is this lawsuit what do we know about that? >> reporter: a lot more to
follow. that lawsuit was filed in miami, alex, by a passenger from texas seeking damages. she accuses carnival cruise lines of negligence and fraud and says she was -- quoting from the lawsuit, "injured as a result of the unsatisfactoea wo unsafe conditions." carnival cruiselines says it has not yet seen the lawsuit so cannot comment. the "triumph" has been moved to a shipyard for extensive cleanup and repairs. the investigation now under way. since this ship is registered in bahamas, the bahamanian maritime authority is the lead investigative authority, but the coast guard and ntsb are also heavily involved. they are trying to determine how the fire broke out, how it was
handled and ultimately trying to prevent something like this from ever happening again. >> real kudos to the crew. i've heard nothing but applause for their efforts under really what they were living in really deplorable conditions. have you heard anything otherwise? >> no. not really. some of the passengers have complained about not being properly informed at the time of the fire, some of the people we talked to said that was the worst moment actually. when the fire broke out, they knew something was going on, but not getting enough information. that scared them. but they also said -- the ones we talked to, said the crew -- in the same conditions that they were in, but having to work on top of it, did a remarkable job and kudos all around, again, according to the people we spoke to. >> there is at least one silver lining. mark potter, thank you very much, from mobile. the good, bad, and ugly surrounding chuck hagel's nomination. is it all personal? ] [ justin ] mulligan sir. mulligan. take a mulligan.
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it's shocking that my republican colleagues would leave the nation without a fully empowered secretary of defense for the sake of our national security, let's put aside this political theater and that's what it is. it's tragic that they've died decided to filibuster this qualified nominee. it's really unfortunate. >> it gotting youly and really personal in the battle over the chuck hagel nominee for defense secretary. joining me now, political reporter lauren fox and political reporter aaron blake. thank you for joining me. >> good morning. >> lauren, we'll start with you. what is the status of the whole thing? where are we in the process? >> we don't have a secretary -- a new secretary of defense right now. what happened was republicans really wanted more questions answered when it came to the
nominee, chuck hagel. they wanted to know nor information about what happened in benghazi and more information about chuck hagel's financial records and some of the groups he had spoken in front of, but harry reid said they had enough time, this had gotten voted out of committee, and he was ready for the vote, even though they didn't have the 60-vote threshold that republicans asked for. right now, chuck hagel in limbo. >> okay. are you right to milwaukee a distinction, we don't have a new secretary of defense. leon pan 80 is not going anywhere until this is over. >> no, no. very active. >> and here is the reaction by harry reid to the filibuster. let's listen. >> the filibuster of senator hag hagel's nomination is unprecedenced. i repeat never in the history of our country has a secretary of defense nominee been filibustered. never, ever. >> has this ever happened before? anything similar? or are we talking about the
details to secretary of defense nominees? >> it is unpress denned for a secretary of defense nominee. the closest example to a cabinet-level position being filibustered or attempted to be filibustered is steven johnson, epa secretary under president bush. some tried to filibuster him, they couldn't get enough votes. that wasn't technically a cabinet-level position or an actual cabinet position this is actually the first time that a cabinet secretary has been filibustered, and republicans don't want to call it a filibuster, that's the practical effect of what we see here today. >> let's take a listen to what senator john mccain said about the issues that republicans have about chuck hagel. >> to be honest with you, neil, it goes back to there is a lot of ill will toward senator hagel, because when he was a republican, he attacked
president bush, mercilessly at one point said he was the worst president since herbert hoover, said that the surge was the worst blunder since the vietnam war, which is nonsense, and was very anti his own party and people. people don't forget that. you can disagree, but if you are disagreeab disagreeable, people don't forget that. >> what is the gop strategy here? >> they creating more bad pr for the people. do people really think he won't be confirmed? >> republicans are dragging their feet, not because they don't think he will be confirmed. they don't like his views on israel and iran. many of them were not fond of him. very critical of the bush administration and of the surge in iraq. one of the situations where he will eventually be confirmed. in the meantime, i don't know if it's bad pr for the republicans,
many americans not glued to the television watching this confirmation hearing unfold. we may see enough time between now and the next congressional election for republicans to make up for dragging their feet on this particular issue. >> aaron, it sounds very personal from john mccain there. is that the situation? is this a personal i guess -- not attack, but you following up on that level? >> yeah, i thought mccain's comments were particularly interesting. you generally don't see somebody acknowledge that it's that personal to them. i think this is very much personal, political, you know, and policy oriented. a lot not to like with chuck hagel as far as republicans go. not that he just deserted the party and spoke ill of the iraq war strategy. a lot of the stuff he said about israel. a very important thing to republicans and the republican base. even absent the personal stuff
that mccain was talking about. i think republicans would find a lot not to like about his nomination. >> very quickly before i let you both go, i want to ask you about sequester, a couple weeks away. what is conventional wisdom is it going to happen, lauren? >> conventional wisdom is that the sequester train is rolling and nobody is trying to stop it. republicans are divided within their own party, between the deficit hawks and defense hawks. they would like to see cuts rather than go with the president's plan, which involves freezing more revenues with the tax loophole system. >> what do you think, aaron? >> what happens toward the end of the debate, one side says we're going over the cliff, going to the sequester, say we're done negotiating, this is going to happen and what they are really saying, i want the other side to give me everything i want in order to avert this disaster. that's where republicans are
right now. they are more prepared to go over the life, so to speak, but i think it's a negotiating tactic many. >> thank you very much. i put out a twitter question today, here it is. personal, politics or policy? what's behind the delay in chuck hagel's nomination for defense secretary? i'll read some of your tweets throughout the day. is apple in trouble? we'll tell you why it might be. a and reimagined nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower and class-leading 38 mpg highway... advanced headlights... and zero gravity seats? yeah, that would be cool. introducing the completely reimagined nissan altima. it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪ to volunteer to help those in need.
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will be able to survive. even though the stock price took a 3.7% hit this week. the reason why, in addition to it being a complete pr nightmare this happened in the past to carnival in 2010, another cruise ship that was adrift in the pacific ocean for three days had to get tugged back into san diego, and also you remember the kosta concordia, still off the coast italy, on the side of that island and 32 people tragically died what carnival did do is make every single passenger on that ship sign a 15-page document saying, for the most part, they are not liable for any sort of problem. the passengers may have something so sort through there. >> what about warren buffett? he has a mega deal to acquire ketchup maker heinz. what is so valuable here?
>> warren buffett looks at companies that have a very solid balance sheet and a lot of cash on the books. he acquired this company for $22 billion. and he said how this fits into his portfolio perfectly. known for investing in iconic american brands like coca-cola, anheuser-busch and dairy queen. he has been eyeing this for 20 years as a potential takeover. >> interesting. how about apple dropping the prices of the macbook pro and the macbook air. >> 14 million, how many ipads apple sold in the last quarter of 2012. compare it about the number of macbook pros they sold last quarter. what apple is doing, dropping the price of macbook pros by
$200 to spark the return. in today's one-minute playback. more than 12,000 videos posted. even our friends at the "today" got into it with a valentine's day themed routine. here is jimmy fallon's version. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ you know my heart burns for you... ♪
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fugitive excop christopher dorner killed himself with a single gunshot to the head. the sheriff reiterated at a news conference, deputies did not intentionally burn down the cabin. facebook says its computer system has been hacked. no user information has been stolen. it traces it back to a website visited by some employees. a tank holding radioactive liquid is leaking at the shuttered hanford nuclear site. there are no high radioactive levels at the washington site. and bus drivers have ended a month-lock strike without getting the job protection they were seeking. another fireball in the sky. in the upper right-hand corner. what folks saw in the bay area of california last night. an astronomer in oakland said it was unrelated to yesterday's passing asteroid and just a sporadic meteor. in his new weekly address
out today, president obama spoke about the state of the union proposal to raise the minimum wage. >> how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living? no one should work full time and raise their children in poverty. let's raise the minimum wage so it's a wage you can live on. >> joining me now is mark murray. a pleasure, good morning. >> good morning, alex. >> how has congress reacted to the minimum wage proposal? >> democrats like it, derubpy lanes don't and the prospects of its passage are probably slim to none. economists were also divided on the merits of raising the minimum wage. i can tell you this. the minimum wage and raising it is very popular in public opinion polls. republicans are a little on the defensive on this, and why president obama, if it's not going to pass congress this is a very important political tool. almost a political weapon he's using against republicans. >> in terms of priorities, how
big a priorities, and what kind of timeline do we have to get something done? >> not that big of a priority. a few things for passage in the congress. immigration reform is one. gun control measure are another thing. but out -- this along with some of the other measures were basically for the president to illustrate and enunciate the priorities that he's for, his party is for and as i mentioned earlier, some of the things poll very well and might put republicans on the defensive. >> are they putting out counteroffers, republicans? >> this is one of the problems they've had in the past several years. you know where they stand, particularly on measures that president obama is for and they are against. republicans haven't done as good of a job saying what they are for, particularly with pocketbook issues. house majority leader eric cantor laid out a softer tone for the republican party. gave vouchers to low-income
children to attend private school. not something they have on the table that's as powerful politically as raising the minimum wage. >> people get an idea of what this looks like. minimum wage, $15,000 a year. the proposed minimum wage would be $19,000. that's well under the poverty line for a family of four. not a comfortable level anyway. vouchers for kids to attend schools. anything else on the table to chop away, eat away at the disparity. >> one thing that president obama talked about when he visited the suburbs, is universal pre-k as a way to break thepoverty. that's one measure. democrats who championed raising the minimum wage, economist who's do the same. they believe that raises incomes for everybody.
if you raise it at the bottom, it pushes all the incomes up and that shows you why it's politically popular. >> speaking of numbers, take a look at the president's approval numbers. prior to the state of the union, 52% approval rating, after the state of the union, you see it dicking down to 51%. is that enough approval to get minimum wage through congress? >> 51%, 52%, about as high as we've seen it from president obama's presidency over the past four years. this country is so decided, if you are around 50 or right around there it shows political winds are at your back. i don't think minimum wage will pass congress. but wione thing to keep an eye is gun control. a 50% approval rating can help you. >> always helping us, mark murray, appreciate it. and an fbi investigation to robert menendez found no
evidence to support claims he has visited underage prostitutes in the dominican republic. interviews conducted in recent weeks, acting on leads by an unknown tipster. the senator calls the allegations false smears. rahm emanuel has designed on making a run for the oval office in 2016. but lynn sweet says that once again an emanuel spokesperson denies that. but the spokesperson also denied running for chicago mayor, an office he now occupies. just saying. and in this week's office politics, i asked jonathan alter about the role of the tea party and got a somewhat bipartisan answer with him on that we began talking about the high points from the state of the union speech.
>> the most emotional part of the speech was clearly toward the end, where he said, give them a vote. he used that word vote over and over again. what's so important about that, alex, this will apply not just to gun control, but to a whole series of bills, which in the past for many years now, the way to stop them has been to keep them from even coming up for a vote. that doesn't mean he will win all the votes, but at least the american people will be able to -- through their elected representatives, have a chance to vote on gun control, immigration, a whole series of other issues. >> and then there is the tea party response. when you look at rand paul and the tea party, are they living in an alternate universe? or do they have viable issues worthy of discussion in some sort of merit? >> they are a thorn in the side of the republican party.
but their moment in american history has come and gone. they were an extremely important part of the last two years in our political life, and, you know, i have a little chapter about them in my next book and they did a lot of damage to the united states by -- by wrenching it so far to the right or attempting to wrench it so far to the right that it hurt not just the country, but the republican party. but they -- you know, they are a -- they are an implacable and still powerful minority faction in american politics. they are not going to be driving the train. but they will continue to be, you know, a problem in moving forward to address our central concerns. >> but the tea party issues on
the economy and their, you know, deep concern about the $16 trillion ballooning deficit, are those concerns legit? >> concerns about the deficit are legitimate. the important thing to understand is that the republican party as a whole doesn't give a rat's patootie about the deficit. they can say they do all day, but if you are not for what the president calls a balanced approach, which all the experts say is the only way you will really address the deficit, a combination of steep budget cuts in certain areas and some tax increases in other areas, you cannot get from here to there in deficit reduction. so anybody who says that just budget cuts, no tax increases is not serious about reducing the deficit. and republicans have been a tax cut party, not a deficit reduction party for the last 25 years. >> when it comes to things have
you in your house, one thing i love is this gathering of campaign buttons. >> yeah. >> where did that come from? >> that collection is actually my father's. >> adeli stevenson. i see a lot of that. >> they got involved with adlai before they were married, and they were kind of the equivalent in the early 1950s of very, very idealistic progressives. my mother was the first woman ever elected to public office in cook county which is chicago. so they led a very interesting life. >> we'll have more of our conversation today at 12:00 noon when jonathan talks about his loyalty to the chicago cubbies and shares behind the scenes insights from writing his best selling book on president obama "the promise."
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two young boys in the philadelphia area are accused of stealing a rental car. the boys are 12 and 10 years old. seen stealing keys before making off with that car, kind of there. they returned it the next day. tried it again, but got into an accident in the garage and so they ran off. the 12-year-old returned for a third straight day but got nabbed. facing multiple charges, the 10-year-old not charged. new today, the family of oscar pistorius is defending the p paralympic scar. star. he's accused of killing his south african model girlfriend.
what is his family saying now? >> they released a statement through pistorius' agent saying they dispute the alleged murder charge in the strongest terms and pistorius wanted to send his deepest sympathies to the family of his girlfriend. he is right here now, in a holding cell in this police station, not in a prison, where most people in this type of case would be held is that special treatment? yeah, it is. in fact, the magistrate at his first appearance brought that up and said, well, would so-and-so in this other case be given this treatment? but prosecutors didn't hold any objection to it. a few minutes ago, we saw members of pistorius' legal team arrive. they stayed not very long. one of his lawyers said he is doing fine. he's likely to stay until tuesday, when he will have a bond hearing what is interesting about that each side will argue whether he should or should not be set free. and that is likely to shed much
more light on exactly what investigators think happened inside that house. pistorius' gated home early valentine's day morning. ending with his girlfriend of eight months being shot four times. one legal expert said he thinks it's likely that pistorius will be set free, even though prosecutors are calling this premeditated murder what it boils down to, whether or not he's perceived as a flight risk and dangerous. alex. >> so, michelle, with regard to how the shooting happened, do he know those details? where they were inside the house, the gun that was used, anymore details coming to light? >> not very many. it did come out and was confirmed, police said that the girlfriend, reeva steenkamp, shot with a .9 millimeter pistol registered to oscar pistorius. surrounding the scene, lots of media reports coming out.
when you trace them back, it seems some information is coming from a neighborhood of pistorius. newspapers and other outlets have been reporting that it seemed steenkamp was found in the bathroom of pistorius' home. the neighbor apparently claimed that he was told there were bullet holes in the bathroom door. none of that information is confirmed. one of those cases where police aren't saying much. but lots of reports circulating. alex. >> the mood there now? this is a man that the entire country was cheering on just a few months ago last summer at the olympics. >> yeah, it's really a sense of being stunned i would say. and, of course, that's not just here in south africa. he was this hero, this golden boy, but much of the world felt that way too. who didn't watch the olympics and see him and not get a thrill from this person who has overcome such odds. lots of talk of how terrible it is. whatever happened in this situation that it has happened.
and to see this man that the world is used to seeing with his head held high, winning medals, making history to be sobbing uncontrollably in court with his face buried in his hands. everybody wants to know what exactly did happen. police said they believe only pistorius and steenkamp were in that home. so the only information they could find out about potentially other than any hard evidence they find is what pistorius said happened. also, today in media reports, seeing more about pistorius' personality, interviews with people who said not only was he a great person, but on the other side there, are acquaintances who are being quoted saying he had a temper, he would get into fights, he carried a gun and kept loaded guns in the house. alex. >> michelle kosinkski, thank you very much. in a moment, why are valt
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mortensen. reports out of rome today suggest catholics may get a new pope sooner than they thought. a secret conclave of cardinals was supposed to condition convenient between 15 and 20 days after pope benedict steps down at the end of the month. the vote could be held earlier than planned. joining me now from rome, nbc news vapt cannon list george weigel. it is very good to see you. as we get to the process of selecting the new pope, how soon can that begin and do you hear these reports as well that it may go earlier than expected? >> i do. i prankly think that's a very wise idea. the 15 to 20-day provision in the current constitution that govern it is election of a pope, was created to allow time for a i did any tied funeral mass, a period of mourning for the deceased pope, and a set of meetings among the cardinals and
then the enclosure of the conclave. of course, there is no funeral this time. so when the seat becomes vacant at 8:00 p.m. rome time february 28, i would imagine, indeed i would hope, that about a week would pass before the conclave would be enclosed and the voting process would begin. this is simply a matter of amending the apostolic constitution which is the pope can do or he can assign the authority to the dean of the college of cardinals to do that himself. >> so we have welfare days or so leading up to february 28. what happens to benedict in this period and immediately afterwards, george? >> reporter: he's continuing his normal daily routine. tomorrow morning at moon here behind me in st. peter's square he will have his week lly addre to what i expect to be tens of
thousands of people pack flood the square. the vatican bureaucracy and the pope are going on retreat beginning tomorrow night and until next saturday morning. and then it will be just a few brief days before the pope's advocation takes effect. he's already announced he will go to the papal summer residence southeast of rome for an unspecific period of time before returning to live quietly and privately in what has been up until now a convent of cloistered sisters on the back side of the vatican at the end of the vatican garden. >> george, as you well know, there have been increasing demands to modernize this church. do you think pope benedict's successor will yield to these calls for any sort of structural reform? does the fact that this pope -- is doing something that was last under resigning as opposed to
dying while in the papacy, does that mean that he's giving license for everyone to think differently than what has become the norm? >> well, alex, as you know, and as i think most people realize, the change of pope is not like a change of president or change of governor. what the catholic church teach cess not a matter of policy. it is a matter of settled belief. i'm hearing discussed quite openly here in terms of change is the imperative change of reforming the roman bringing the papacy into the 21st century and communications world. so that the pope's mission as a pastor and evangelist can be much more effective than it often is now with a rather clotted bureaucratic process and a very, very slow communications
process. >> and you talk about the bureaucracy. in pact the pope talked about internal rivalries, george, that defiled the face of the church. what do you mean? >> well, catholic church is a human institution. there are different people with different ideas of how things should be done. and different national and ethnic loyalties. that's all part of the mix of catholic life. there should be nothing surprising about it. what has been missing, many feel, in this roman curia, vatican bureaucracy is a strong cardinal secretary of state to temper those rivalries and get everybody moving in the same direction. >> all right. george weigel, many thanks for your insight. appreciate that. that's a wrap of this hour. two-hour edition at moon today. next "up with chris hayes." hickp but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then.
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